Physics is stranger than Meta-physics.

For some “reality is stranger than fiction”, but for me “Physics is stranger than metaphysics” . It seems incredulous to think about a situation in real life where our height fluctuates with every slight change in our vicinity. We never see ourselves, and for that matter someone else expanding and shrinking whenever a cricket ball is hit past us, which according to cosmic inflation hypothesis holds true. Oh, I forgot to mention, its not a hypothesis anymore, because scientists have already got a proof for that. Its a theory now.

According to this theory, the gravitational waves from the ball disturb the space-time continuum and cause fluctuations,but this can’t be seen or measured due to the small size of the ball. If we assume the ball to be made up of matter that makes the whole universe, the quantum of change would certainly be measurable. This is what the scientists have proved using the BICEP2 telescope. It was hypothesised that 10^-36 seconds after the big bang the universe was of the size of a proton but soon after( about 10^-33 seconds later) it was of the size of an orange. During this rapid expansion a lot of microwave(a type of electro-magnetic wave) was released and so were gravity waves. The microwaves due to their large quantity form the background, the gravitational waves interfere with the magnetic component of these miceowaves. (Recollect that microwaves are electeomagnetic wave with electric and magnetic fields attached to them).
This interaction between the two waves has already been registerd, providing us with a strong proof for cosmic inflation. This theory now holds a very important place in physics and astrophysics as it has established a link between quantum mechanics(microwaves) and special theory of relativity(gravitational waves). This makes it a great contender for next Nobel Prize in physics.
Now, coming back to the first paragraph,guys do you seriously believe it is really possible? Truthfully I can’t. Its so boring. Yawwwnnn!

Playing God

I distinctly remember the e-mail that my genome biology teacher ‘Dr.Vani’ sent us when I was in my Masters’ final semester . We were supposed to make a Minimum-Human-Genome, the e-mail ended with the phrase, “Enjoy playing God!” The whole class was divided into 4 groups, all of us worked independently and thus different group came up with different conclusions. One group said we can’t play God, the other said we don’t have enough information to play God, and one even came up with a prospective minimum-genome. I consider that project the most enriching experience of my 16 years of education.

Recently, I read in the newspaper that scientists in John Hopkins university tried something similar to what we had tried, and they were successful in it. They created a synthetic yeast chromosome. Why I am I considering yeast as something similar to humans? Because just like humans they are also a Eukaryote- an organism with bound cell organelles and an enclosed nucleus. The  synthetic chromosome is being called DIY chromosome and it was first created in-silico, which means its structure was first synthesized inside a computer. We all know that computer chips are made up of silicon,this is where the term in-silico has been derived from.

The Scientists at John Hopkins applied almost similar approach that we were using in our little project, they removed the unnecessary Introns, the repeating sequence at the ends-the telomere as well as some of the genes that were coding for Transfer-RNAs. It was because the yeast need only about 45 transfer RNA’s but they have them in an excess of approximately  400. The most pleasing thing for me was that, the yeast survived with the Chromosome that the team created. It has lived for almost 150 generations now. This is a proof that DIY chromosome is stable, and that we were on the right track.  Please don’t misunderstand that the discovery happened long ago, 150 generations have passed because of the short life span of yeast.

The success of this project has now made DIY chromosome project scientist-Jeff Boeke,the head of upcoming Synthetic Yeast genome Project. And its not very far away that similar Synthetic human genome project will be underway. But,till then all the best for playing  ” God of small things”.